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Supply Chain

Soybeans Hold Firm As Dry Argentina Crop Weather Supports

Chicago soybean prices edged higher on Friday, on track for a fourth straight weekly gain, as dry weather in Argentina continued to fuel concern about global supply of the oilseed.

Corn rose, recovering from a one-week low in the previous session, as dryness in Argentina and rain that was slowing planting in Brazil offset disappointment at lower than expected weekly U.S. export sales.

Wheat ticked down, with showers expected in dry U.S. growing belts and improved growing conditions in major exporter Russia easing supply worries. Price movements were limited as traders looked ahead to monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop forecasts next week while also waiting on Chinese demand to pick up after a lull since the Lunar New Year holiday.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) ended the overnight session up 0.4% at $14.16-1/2 a bushel. The contract had climbed to a one-week high on Thursday, nearing last week's 6-1/2 year peak.

"Season 2021 prices continue to creep up on season highs traded recently," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.

"Argentina's weather outlook is helping to support prices."

Harvest Forecast Cuts 

The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said it could cut its harvest forecast for 2020/21 soy production in Argentina if it does not rain sufficiently in key producing areas over the weeks ahead.

Commodity Weather Group, meanwhile, said a rain deficit in Argentina was seen "leading to severe yield loss for 30% (of the) soy belt," in the coming 10 days. CBOT corn was up 1.3% at $5.39-1/4, regaining ground after a rising dollar and smaller than anticipated weekly export sales reported by the USDA pressured prices on Thursday. CBOT wheat was down 0.3% at $6.49 a bushel.

A mild Russian winter has dramatically improved the condition of winter grain sowings, which were previously hit by a dry autumn, weather forecaster Hydrometcentre said on Thursday.

Most Ukrainian winter grain crops are in excellent condition thanks to favourable weather that could lift the 2021 harvest to a record high above 75 million tonnes, a senior government official said on Thursday.

News by Reuters edited by Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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